Fernell E, Barnevik-Olsson M, Bågenholm G, Gillberg C, Gustafsson S, Sääf M. (2010) Acta Paediatr. 99(5) 743-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2010.01755.x. Epub 2010 Mar 5.
To analyse serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in mothers of Somali origin and those of Swedish origin who have children with and without autism as there is a growing evidence that low vitamin D impacts adversely on brain development.
Four groups of mothers were invited to participate; 20 with Somali origin with at least one child with autism, 20 with Somali origin without a child with autism, 20 of Swedish origin with at least one child with autism and 20 with Swedish origin without a child with autism. Two blood samples were collected from each individual; during autumn and spring.
Between 12 and 17 mothers from the different groups accepted to participate, both groups of mothers of Somali origin had significantly lower values of 25-hydroxyvitamin D compared with Swedish mothers. The difference of 25-hydroxyvitamin D between mothers of Somali origin with and without a child with autism was not significant.
Our findings of low vitamin D levels in Somali women entail considerable consequences in a public health perspective. The observed tendency, i.e. the lowest values in mothers of Somali origin with a child with autism was in the predicted direction, supporting the need for further research of vitamin D levels in larger samples of Somali mothers of children with and without autism.